Tag: new york times

The Social Meaning of Same-Sex Marriage

RALPH WEDGWOOD, professor of philosophy, USC Dornsife.

This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times.

It wasn’t long after President Obama’s statement earlier this month in support of same-sex marriage that the familiar debates on the issue began to flare again. And as usual, each side’s argument reflects a fundamentally different conception of marriage.

When proponents of same-sex marriage offer theoretical arguments in favor of their position, they often rely on a legalistic view: they frame marriage as fundamentally a package of legal rights, benefits and obligations — which include hospital visitation rights and immigration rights for the foreign spouses of citizens, among others. This position insists on a basic condition of justice — legal parity and equality for men and women who choose a long-term partner of the same sex.

An Ounce of Prevention Could Save Billions

DANA GOLDMAN, director of USC’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics, talked to Gina Kolata about reining in healthcare costs by improving access to preventative care.

The Q&A originally appeared in the New York Times.

How much are we spending on treating diseases that might be prevented?

The most consistent estimates, and most widely cited, seem to come out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, lobbying groups like the Tobacco-Free Kids initiative, and the president’s prevention initiative. Instead of blanket measures, they focus more on diseases relating to “lifestyle” decisions like obesity and smoking, and their estimates include costs for lost productivity in addition to medical expenses.

Obama’s Energy Straddle

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics

This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times.

Like every president seeking re-election, Barack Obama walks the fine line every day between the discordant goals of motivating his party’s strongest loyalists and reaching out to swing voters for their support. A few weeks ago, that pathway took him to a tiny town in Oklahoma, where, caught between the anti-drilling demands of the environmental community and the thirst for more affordable gasoline from unions, business owners and drivers, the president announced his support for building half of an oil pipeline.

Romney’s Wealth Effect

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics:

This op-ed originally appeared in the New York Times.

“Why is someone who is so good at making money so bad at talking about it?

Mitt Romney is not the first presidential candidate who’s had trouble communicating with working-class voters: John Kerry famously enjoyed wind-surfing, and George Bush blamed a poor showing in a straw poll on the fact that many of his supporters were

A Crossroads Debate for Romney

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics:

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

“It’s the most important night of Mitt Romney’s political life.

Us pundit types tend to get a little bit overwrought when framing presidential campaigns as a series of breathless and seminal do-or-die moments. But Romney’s current predicament and challenge is such that it’s not difficult to see how the outcome of the Republican debate in Jacksonville this evening could have a defining impact on the outcome of next week’s Florida primary and fundamentally shape the road forward for Romney and his opponents.

The Next Immigration Challenge

DOWELL MYERS, demographer and planning professor in USC’s Price School of Public Policy:

This article originally appeared in the New York Times.

“The immigration crisis that has roiled American politics for decades has faded into history. Illegal immigration is shrinking to a trickle, if that, and will likely never return to the peak levels of 2000. Just as important, immigrants who arrived in the 1990s and settled here are assimilating in remarkable and unexpected ways.

Taken together, these developments, and the demographic future they foreshadow, require bold changes in our approach to both legal and illegal immigration. Put simply, we must shift from an immigration policy, with its emphasis on keeping newcomers out, to an immigrant policy, with an emphasis on encouraging migrants and their children to integrate into our social fabric. “Show me your papers” should be replaced with “We

Meet the Republican Ego — and Id

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics: “The political, personal and psychological state of war that currently exists between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich provides a valuable insight into the conflicted mindset of the Republican Party…

Who Tests the Testers?

DAN SCHNUR, director of USC’s Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics: “It’s perfectly understandable to want the most capable members of our community to represent us in public office. The problems begin when you try to set up non-negotiable criteria…

Where Bohemians Come From

ELIZABETH CURRID-HALKETT, assistant professor of urban planning: “The idea that art can be an economic engine is hardly new, and a walk through SoHo, Venice Beach or Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood shows it can work. The N.E.A.’s promotional material makes clear…

Are Oil Pipelines Safer Now?

NAJMEDIN MESHKATI, professor of civil and environmental engineering: “Almost all major oil and gas pipeline systems are run by operators who use computer-based workstations in control rooms. According to a major study of pipeline accidents and spills conducted by the…